Monday, 9 February 2009

Utter shambles


I've waited as long as I can to write this, and I still haven't calmed down any. Or maybe I have a little - when I was planning it at a little after 3.45pm yesterday, the first words were all going to be expletives. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any that could aptly cover what I wanted to say about the utter shambolic disgrace that I watched at Murrayfield yesterday.

There hasn't been such a difference in performance level since Roman emperors decided they might like to see how the Christians performed in bare knuckle fights against lions. Men against boys? It was more like men against little girls who cried when the nasty men in red shirts took their ball away.

I've been to Murrayfield many times and come away disappointed - truth be told - on most of those occasions. But never have I considered, as I did yesterday, that it might be better to pack up and go home after 50 seconds of the second half. Thirty quid spent on the promise of excitement, of the expectation not of triumph but at the very least that the side would bother showing up. I set myself up for the fall and I do it every year, lulled in by the potential, the pride, the hope that one of these times things might fall into place.

It started so well too. The players lined up, the anthems played. They dropped the pipes for the second verse of Flower of Scotland, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck, a lump rose in my throat and I barely got the words out. Those two minutes of belief, of hope, of passion were as good as the afternoon got. And then they kicked off.

I really don't think I can do justice to just how awful the performance was. I'm writing this at 1.30am having left more than 8 hours since the final whistle went and I'm still fuming. I can't decide whether it was my naive belief in the players abilty or the sheer hopelessness and complete lack of direction with which they performed but I remain somewhere between angry and disappointed with the Scottish side. Wales were not particularly good. They were probably average at best. But they dispatched with ease a Scotland side that looked like they would recoil in fright any time a Welsh player approached them with the ball.

An advert at the end of the match summed it up for me. "Tickets for Scotland v Italy £20. Get yours today" it said. You'd have to PAY ME more than £20 to go back to Murrayfield again and watch that shambles.

I'd love to find some positives. And perhaps there are. But the only one I can find right now is that in six weeks time this will all be over and I can start hoping we'll be good next year. Until then some dark days loom.

Malc the pessimist returns.

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